February 4, 2021
The Brisbane Valley Rail Trail will receive $4.4 million in upgrades this year, thanks to an investment by Somerset Regional Council and grants from the State and Federal Governments.
Last year Somerset Regional Council secured matching funding from the State Government to improve two sections of the trail.
The $2.1m project will upgrade the trail’s surface from Fernvale to Lowood (9.2 km), and a second 5.1km section north and south of Coominya.
Sections within the towns will also be concreted to provide an all-weather surface.
On January 22, the Council announced it had received a further $2.38 million under Federal and State funded bushfire recovery programs which it will use to install concrete surfacing and solar lighting in Esk and Toogoolawah.
The new funding will also allow upgrades of parking areas in towns located along the Rail Trail to make it more accessible to visitors; and improvements to facilities at Moore.
Somerset Mayor Graeme Lehmann said the funding was “fantastic news” and would bring great benefits to residents and visitors to the region.
“This funding will assist to drive the economic recovery of our community that was impacted by the 2019 bushfires,” Cr Lehmann.
“We are grateful for the funding that will enable us to deliver these key projects across Somerset.
“These projects … had been put forward by Council because they provide economic benefits across the Somerset region.”
The funding announcements have been welcomed by the Brisbane Valley Rail Trail Users Association (BVRTUA), which recently raised $13,000 to install modern murals on the trail’s Nurinda underpass.
The BVRTUA now plans to commission and install sculptures along the trail, and are organising a BVRT Festival of Cycling for June 5 which is expected to attract cyclists from all over south-east Queensland.
BVRTUA president Paul Heymans said he estimated more than $20 million has now been invested in the BVRT since it opened in 2008.
This investment had come about because of the positive economic impact the trail has had on the Brisbane Valley.